clock menu more-arrow no yes

Top 4 Best Dog DNA Test Kits (2022 Review)

If you’re interested in your dog’s genetic makeup, a dog DNA test could help you learn more. Keep reading for more information on these kits and what to look for when buying.

A woman performs a dog DNA test on a brown dog Courtesy Chewy

If you’ve adopted a dog, you’re probably wondering which breeds shaped its behavioral and physical traits. Even if you purchased your dog from a breeder, you might want to confirm its pedigree or check for preexisting conditions. A canine DNA test can help.

These at-home tests analyze your dog’s saliva to capture its family lineage, alert you to preexisting health problems, and help you devise a nutritional plan tailored to your pup. Keep reading to learn about the best available dog DNA test kits, what customers say about each product, and what to look for when going through the buying process.

Top 4 Dog DNA Test Kits


Our Reviews of the Best Dog DNA Test Kits

Embark Breed and Health Kit: Best Overall

The Embark Breed and Health Kit can analyze more than 200,000 of your canine’s genetic markers with a simple cheek swab. It provides you with crucial information about your dog, including the following:

  • Breed identification and breakdown
  • Family tree
  • Overall risk for genetic conditions

The DNA and health test kit is ideal for dog owners who want to confirm their pup is in good shape. It screens for more than 350 dog breeds and 210 preexisting health conditions using a research-grade genotyping platform developed by the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

The Embark dog DNA test’s personalized online dashboard displays your pup’s results in as little as two weeks. In addition, the company lets you download results to share with your vet and notifies you when your pup has a new relative on the platform.

Most Helpful Positive Review

Mandy on Chewy says:

I bought two of these to test my Huskies to see if they carried genes for health issues and to see if they were purebred or mixed. I would recommend using Embark. It was easy to use, they kept you notified along the entire process, and the results are easy to read and very informative. Definitely worth the money.”

Most Helpful Critical Review

Mama on Chewy says:

I feel like I overpaid for this test because it sounded like I would get so much more. I have a beagle mixed with something, and I wanted to know what it was. Results came back as beagle and “super-mutt” (unknown). Additionally, I believed the genetic health risk test would include so much more… very limited… and no information on cancer or other diseases that would not be obvious. It seems to me that a less expensive test would have provided the same information that I now have.”


Wisdom Panel Premium: Most Comprehensive Results

Using a breed database, the Wisdom Panel Premium test informs dog owners of their furbaby’s ancestry, potential health risks, and genetic predisposition to various traits such as coat type and body shape. The test checks for more than 350 breeds, including coyote and wolf. This is particularly helpful for pet owners who suspect their dogs are mixed with an uncommon breed.

Unlike some competitors, Wisdom includes the MDR1 medication sensitivity test, which alerts customers to medication allergies in their dog. It also comes with an ideal weight recommendation to help you keep your dog happy and healthy. Test results may arrive in as little as three weeks.

Most Helpful Positive Review

Lewis on Chewy says:

“The test revealed the type [of] dog we have and the health and traits that we wanted to know. The results came in as quickly as could be expected. I am very happy with the results of this product and highly recommend this to everyone.”

Most Helpful Critical Review

Ejaneh on Chewy says:

Ordered two DNA kits for my two dogs. Got the kits and swabbed their cheeks, and mailed the tests back promptly. That was back in October—This is December, and I have never heard from the company. I need the results of the tests or a refund.”


Wisdom Panel Essentials: Best Budget-Friendly Option

The Wisdom Panel Essentials could be a good option if you’re interested in knowing your dog’s genetic makeup but aren’t looking to dish out a lot of money. The test uses its DNA database to help you determine your dog’s breed mix, medical complication risks, and genetic predispositions.

The test is conducted with a simple swab of your dog’s cheek, and results arrive in as little as three weeks. While your dog’s results from this test are comprehensive, customers do miss out on the canine genetic conditions test conducted through the company’s Premium kit. However, the Essentials kit does inform you of the medications your dog may be allergic to.

Most Helpful Positive Review

Patricia on Chewy says:

My pet was sold as a designer Chi Poo. I could not see the poodle in him but thought he was more Corgi. The DNA results showed him to be a combination of 12 breeds. The test results were correct in identifying his features. They even tell what your pet should weigh. Everything about this was so interesting. My designer dog is really just an adorable mutt.”

Most Helpful Critical Review

Mishell on Chewy says:

I was very surprised by the results. Our Lexi is adopted [and] [I] thought for sure she was a poodle mix, Maltese [or] maybe bichon. But when so much Chihuahua showed up it just makes me wonder how accurate these really are? I did call, and they were very nice on the phone and tried to explain the genetics to me.”


Embark Breed Identification: Best for Fast Results

The Embark Breed Identification test kit is an option if you’re interested in the breed makeup of your pup and want timely results. The test uses more than 200,000 genetic markers to screen for more than 350 breeds, providing you with an accurate pedigree of your canine.

This breed identification kit reveals your furry friend’s family tree back to their great-grandparents and works for breeds of all sizes. Additionally, results are delivered in as little as two weeks, a quicker turnaround than most competitors.

Most Helpful Positive Review

HoundMama on Chewy says:

I knew that my dog was at least part beagle, but I didn’t know what else because he is larger than the average beagle. So curiously, I purchased an Embark DNA test to find out. Wasn’t super expensive. And I registered the swab with minimal to no information to see what breeds they came up with. Wow! Not really surprised at the breeds my dog is but impressed how accurate it is. It even showed where in his lineage the other breeds appear.”

Most Helpful Critical Review

Boxer on Chewy says:

Pro: Mixed breed results provide the greatest % of what the parents may have been. Found this combination surprising. CON: Only provides name of breeds not % of DNA for remainder. Color analysis of DNA looks nice, but not helpful.”


Other Dog DNA Test Kits

Based on our thorough review of products, customer reviews, and ratings, we consider the kits above to be the best dog DNA test kits. However, if you’d like to consider a few more options, there are alternatives.

DNA My Dog Allergy Testing for Dogs

If your pooch has a bad reaction to something in or around your home, you can test them for specific allergies with the DNA My Dog Allergy Testing kit. Using a simple mouth swab, you can check your dog’s sensitivity to around 100 factors, including food and environmental allergens.

Results are delivered in two weeks or less, helping you quickly identify the cause of your dog’s upset stomach, itchy skin, or other allergy symptoms. The test also comes with a collection device outfitted with a red indicator that lets you know when you have enough saliva to produce accurate results.

While DNA My Dog has some benefits, it isn’t as widely purchased or highly rated as the products above, with some complaints citing contradictory results and long waiting periods.

Most Helpful Positive Review

Alicia on Chewy says:

“This helped me find out my dog is allergic to rosemary, and rosemary is used in almost all dog foods. My poor girl would have lived her days with itchy skin [and] licking her paws raw if it wasn’t for this test. Highly recommend it if you can’t figure out what your pup is allergic to.”

Most Helpful Critical Review

Samantha on Chewy says:

“... We just dropped the envelope in the mailbox and will be eagerly awaiting the results in 2 weeks! (My only suggestion for improvement would be if there was a way to know enough sample was collected after the swab was in his mouth for 1.5 mins!)”


Orivet Mixed-Breed Identification

This DNA test kit, specialized in identifying your dog’s genetic makeup and providing insights into your pup’s personality traits and behavior, comes with quick and straightforward collection swabs and instructions.

Additionally, Orivet dog DNA test users can learn more about inheritable health concerns and the steps they can take to mitigate or address any issues found. The test comes with a prepaid envelope for easy shipment and gives you access to an interactive online report you can update over time.

Despite these advantages, this dog DNA test kit has significantly fewer customer reviews than competitors, with varied customer satisfaction. Many pet parents complained about the company’s poor communication, long waiting times, and complex results.

Most Helpful Positive Review

Mitchell on Chewy says:

“I can’t say enough awesome things about the care and support the Orivet team has shown me. Whenever I have a question or need something, they’re there to help and provide support …”

Most Helpful Critical Review

Dave on Chewy says:

Terrible communication from the company, and unnecessarily difficult site, but the results were easy to read.”


Buying Guide for Dog DNA Test Kits

Before purchasing a pet DNA test kit, it’s essential to consider a few factors, including its accuracy, result speed, pedigree depth, health testing features, and ease of use. Take a more detailed look at each factor below.

Accuracy

While no test is 100% accurate, it’s critical to know the margin of error for the one you select. Some test kits are analyzed through specialized genotyping technology, ensuring results are as close to perfect as possible. For example, Embark uses separate probes for every tested health condition, pushing accuracy to well above 99%.

Result Speed

It’s understandable to want your dog’s test results back as fast as possible. However, most DNA tests take between two and four weeks to populate. Some kits, such as the DNA My Dog Allergy Testing, advertise results in less than two weeks. While most companies suggest results in no more than four weeks, some customers of various test kit providers have reported longer wait times.

Pedigree Depth

A dog’s pedigree refers to its family lineage. Many DNA test kits display your dog’s family tree back to their great-grandparents. Some kits even allow you to reach out to other members of your dog’s pedigree who are registered on the platform.

A peek into your dog’s ancestry also helps inform you of your pup’s risk for various genetic health conditions, including drug sensitivities and heart abnormalities.

Genetic Testing Features

It’s important to consider what you want to learn about your dog before purchasing a test. For example, if you’re just curious about your dog’s genetic makeup, a simple breed identification test will suffice.

However, if you’re interested in more detailed information about your dog’s predisposition to genetic mutations or diseases, you’ll need a more comprehensive test for health screening. This information can be an important factor in purchasing pet insurance.

Ease of Use

Almost all dog DNA test kits come with a cotton swab to collect saliva from your dog’s mouth. Most of these tests take around 10 seconds to conduct, though some require a larger sample size that may take more effort. If your dog has a sensitive mouth or is squirmish when you touch around their gum line, you may have difficulty conducting a test.


Conclusion

While all dog DNA test kits included in this article have unique benefits, our top choice is the Embark Breed and Health Kit. This kit uses specialized technology to analyze more than 200,000 genetic markers, providing detailed information on your dog’s breed composition and health risks. Additionally, Embark’s intuitive online platform allows you to view your results remotely and connect with your pup’s relatives on the site. It even allows you to share pictures of your doggy pal so others in their family tree can see how they compare.

Whether you have a retriever, pit bull, or mixed-breed rescue dog, these kits can help you make more informed decisions about their health. If you’re interested in purchasing an Embark Breed and Health Kit or one of the other top dog DNA kits we reviewed, visit Chewy to receive your test in as little as one day.

The site also has everything you and your furry friend needs, including food, treats, and pet cameras.


Other Pet Resources


Our Rating Methodology

To help pet parents find the best pet products, The This Old House Reviews Team has thoroughly researched and evaluated hundreds of pet products, weighing the factors below into our evaluation process:

  • Customer ratings: We selected products with a high volume of customer ratings across sites like Chewy and Google and a high average rating from verified customers.
  • Reviews: We analyzed at least 100 customer reviews for each pet product, factoring pet owners’ positive feedback and common complaints into our rankings.
  • Brand reputation: We also weighed each brand’s reputation in the pet industry based on customer reviews and external research.
  • Features: We compared each product against competitors, comparing its basic and unique features, variety of options, and other factors specific to the type of product being reviewed.

After putting products through our rigorous review process, we follow up with experts and brand representatives when necessary, compile our research, and present you with a user-friendly, informative article featuring our top recommendations.

We regularly update our data points across the categories above to account for changes to customer experience, product availability, and quality to help you make the most informed purchase possible for your pet.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.